There are deep differences of opinion between Turkey and France, Ankara's Ambassador to Paris Ismail Hakkı Musa said Tuesday, as the two countries stand on opposing sides in the Eastern Mediterranean and Libya.
Speaking to Europe 1 Radio, Musa said there are differences of opinion between France and Turkey, even though the two countries are “allies and friends.”
“The countries that treat us like an imperialist should first question themselves,” Musa said, as he noted that French criticism against Turkey is wrong.
Turkish officials have criticized France's decision to send warships to help Greece in its Mediterranean standoff with Ankara, saying that it was adding "fuel to the fire."
Regarding the issue of the Eastern Mediterranean, the Turkish envoy said all countries need to respect human rights and the law of the sea in the area.
“Greece has too many demands and if these demands are met, Turkey would have to seek permission from Greece to access its own territorial waters,” Musa said, calling the demands “a provocation.”
He continued by saying that the island of Kastellorizo (Meis) is located only 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) away from the Turkish coast, and 580 kilometers away from mainland Greece.
Greece claims that it should have a 40,000-square-kilometer (15,444-square-mile) continental shelf area based on the tiny island, which is only around 10 square kilometers in size. The Turkish government rejects the Greek stance.
This makes “Greece’s maximalist continental shelf claims based on islands far from its mainland incompatible with international law and court decisions," according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
Turkey last year informed the United Nations of the boundaries of its continental shelf following a maritime delimitation deal inked with Libya’s U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) on Nov. 27, 2019.
The U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) describes the continental shelf within the scope of its legal definition as a stretch of the seabed adjacent to the shores of the particular country to which it belongs.